When my children were much younger, I used to buy the pre-made gingerbread house kits. They were a nice introduction to the world of “house making’. But, they were expensive and didn’t usually come with enough candy to really do the house justice.
I then tried my hand at baking gingerbread house pieces. That was fun and sure made the house smell great, but I never could get the pieces the same sizes, so putting the house together was usually a frustrating time.
We needed an easier way to make our Christmas houses. What we finally settled upon is graham cracker houses. We’ve been doing them this way for several years.
In the weeks leading up to December, I save small boxes. We also save any large boxes to cut up into smaller pieces to use as the base for the houses.
November 1st finds us at the store bright and early to take advantage of the day-after-Halloween-candy-sales. We really scored this year and got a LOT of candy for not a lot of cost.
To make these graham cracker houses, you need a few ingredients:
Graham crackers (I don’t splurge on the pricey ones, the least expensive ones work just fine- you’re not eating them, so go for least cost!)
Candy (LOTS of candy!)
Royal Icing (I make it with Wilton Meringue Powder)
Cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes
When making the Royal Icing, I place a towel over the KitchenAid mixer to avoid getting a powdered sugar blast into the air.
My son, Thomas, is in charge of cutting the cardboard into house base sizes. Once that is done, the house making can commence!
Each house takes almost an entire box of graham crackers, depending upon the size of the boxes that are used to build it.
First, put some icing on the cardboard base to hold the building boxes in place. Once the shape of the house is to your liking, start gluing the graham crackers onto the sides and tops of the boxes. Once those are done, it’s time to decorate. There are no rules to this part! Have fun and let that imagination and creativity flow! And, remember, icing and candy can cover a multitude of “errors” (though I hesitate to use that word, as I don’t feel there are any errors possible in this activity. Make the house your own!)
I’ll leave you with some photos of our graham cracker house building evening! If you’ve made these, I’d love to read your ideas!
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